South Florida resident turns in AR-style rifles to police gun buy-back

A South Florida man has gone viral after he posted about relenquishing two of his rifles to police during a gun buy-back program.

Steve Hemmert says he is well-trained in the use of his weapons as a former U.S. Army officer, but decided “enough is enough” after last month’s mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.

“My daughter recently told me that her plan is to only wear sneakers to school from now on, in case she needs to run,” Hemmert wrote in his Facebook post. “And I realize that, unlike some of my neighbors, I am lucky to still HAVE a 14 year old daughter.”

His post, showing him turning in two of his rifles to the Miami Police Department on Saturday, has quickly gone viral, getting over 71,000 shares on the social media platform.

“There is no valid need for any civilian to own an AR,” Hemmert wrote, noting that he and his daughter even built one of the rifles together. “Any honest gun owner will admit that the only lawful reason to own an AR is because they are fun to shoot (and they ARE fun to shoot).”

“But my desire- and the desire of all the other AR owners out there- to have fun toys no longer outweighs the value of the 17 lives that were taken down the street last month,” he continued.

His post received thousands of responses, with a mixture of those applauding his decision and others criticizing the move.

Hemmert concluded his post acknowledging that, while gun control measures would not remove every semi-automatic rifle from the streets, it would make it more difficult for “a deranged 19 year old” to obtain.

“I want to be part of the solution,” he said.